Category Archives: Artists

Rugby as Pop Art

Pop Art by Aaron Tomlinson. Photo / Simon BakerKiwi artist Aaron Tomlinson struck upon the idea of popular rugby players – particularly Dan Carter and Richie McCraw – as icons that would benefit from a Pop Art overhaul. He talks candidly to the local New Zealand Herald about his thoughts and what was fun about this idea. There has to be fun in Pop Art doesn’t there!

I like that way he links popularist images and icons and moves the ideas on to what is important, today.

You can catch the video here.

Stuck In Customs

Just spent thStuck In Customse morning devouring articles from this site. Was blown away by the dynamic header and the amount of valuable desktop space it took up. Trey Ratcliff is heavily into HDR or High Dynamic Range photography. How to create that memory of a scene the way you remember it and yet your photographs so often disappoint after. As Mr. Ratcliff says in his tutorial…

“Cameras, by their basic-machine-nature, are very good at capturing “images”, lines, shadows, shapes — but they are not good at capturing a scene the way the mind remembers and maps it. When you are actually there on the scene, your eye travels back and forth, letting in more light in some areas, less light in others, and you create a “patchwork-quilt” of the scene. Furthermore, you will tie in many emotions and feelings into the imagery as well, and those get associated right there beside the scene. Now, you will find that as you explore the HDR process, that photos can start to evoke those deep memories and emotions in a more tangible way. It’s really a wonderful way of “tricking” your brain into experiencing much more than a normal photograph.”

Click here to visit Stuck In Customs. 4th on Lake Austin Trey Ratcliff

Trey has range of cameras he recommends for this sort of work. He’s a bit of a Nikon man. He starts with  the Canon G11 and then works up through an increasingly more expensive but beautiful selection of Nikons, ending with the model he uses. If you want to see the full article and why he likes them, click here. The cameras  themselves can be seen below if you fancy buying one.

Caravaggio and Camera Obscura

CaravaggioArtistic genius Caravaggio, used a primitive form of photography to help create his masterpieces, said two art experts, Susan Grundy and Roberta Lapucci.  Their research at a workshop in Florence, revealed that Caravaggio probably converted his entire studio into a camera obscura in order to project images onto his canvas. The painter then used his own compound made of mercury, salt and Venetian ceruse, a popular lead-based cosmetic skin-lightener, in order to temporarily ”fix” the images on the canvas. This produced a short-lived, fluorescent image, similar to a photograph, which he was then able to convert into a permanent sketch that formed the basis of the eventual painting. Continue reading Caravaggio and Camera Obscura

Roy Lichtenstein at Museum Ludwig

Conversation by Roy LichtensteinRoy Lichtenstein – Kunst als Motiv (Art as Motive) is a collection of about a hundred pieces which reflect his interpretation of other great modern pieces with a Lichtenstein twist. He uses his flat palate of bold colours and outlines and his now famous cartoon shadings with benday dots and blobs to break up the images and create his own slant on masters such as Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Mondrian and Dalí.
This exhibition at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne runs from 2nd July until 3rd October 2010.

‘Silver Liz’ Pop Art Print goes for £6m

Silver LizThe painting by Andy Warhol call ‘Silver Liz’ was recently sold for £6,762,150. The painting hasn’t been in the public eye for over 20 years and caused quite a stir at its recent auction at Christie’s in London. It probably won’t be seen for another 20 years as it was sold to an anonymous bidder.

Painted in 1963, it shows one of Warhol’s favourite female icons of that time, Elizabeth Taylor after she had suffered from a major illness. He was fascinated not only by the glamour of Taylor, Marylin Monroe and Jacky Kennedy but how that was juxtaposed with loss and death. He painted Monroe after her death and Kennedy after her husband’s assassination. There were only two paintings in the series where Warhol added violet to her eyes, a personal touch, which has no doubt added to the interest in this particular piece. She did have violet coloured eyes, something that would not have been seen in her earlier black and white films, but with colour and her recently starring in Cleopatra, this would have added to her allure and appeal.

This painting celebrates this film icon using silk screen over sprayed silver background – the shallowness of the painted image completely changed the genre of portraiture. And this series encapsulates all of Warhol’s ideas about fame and celebrity and the symbol of feminine beauty.

Female Pop Art Artists

Ampersand IV by Chryssa 1965Seductive Subversion –  the name of the exhibition at the University of the Arts earlier on this year, shows a different, less commercial side to Pop Art – mainly because it’s all produced by women. These pieces are observant, pithy and quirky, and were  overlooked at the time because of their glamorous male peacock counterparts. This exhibition wishes to redress this imbalance and celebrate a wider definition of the Pop Art Movement.

It was the first exhibition of female Pop Art and is now to be seen, I believe, at Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, although I can’t see it on their web site as yet.

This Times Square inspired ‘Ampersand IV’, is a stylized neon ampersand in a Plexiglas cube by Chryssa, one of the first artists to utilize neon in her work in 1965. Continue reading Female Pop Art Artists

Banksy Prints Stolen

Banksy Museum pieceIf you’ve seen Banksy’s book, Wall and Piece, you will have witnessed several examples of Banksy’s art being surreptitiously placed on the walls of famous galleries and museums.

This example, ‘Early Man Goes To Market’  appeared in The British Museum in 2005 and was completely overlooked until Banksy pointed it out on his website. All credit to the Museum staff for recognising man’s need for making marks and it being seen by the largest possible audience. It is now in their permanent collection.

I’m sure this drew a wry smile from the artist himself.

I wonder if the recent reversal of fortunes of Banksy’s work from Art Republic did the same. Probably did. Two Banksy prints were stolen by a man and woman from the shop in central London. And this is not the first time this has happened with Art Republic. Apparently, 10 prints were stolen from  the same company, only in Brighton. Tut, tut, Art Republic – very clumsy. Continue reading Banksy Prints Stolen

The Mysterious Ambassadors

The Ambassadors - the history behind the painting of Holbein's The Ambassadors.The Ambassadors At The National Gallery

It is just amazing. You can see them casually standing, waiting for you, on an end wall through several linking rooms. Two friends, in all their brilliant finery. They are very patient. Don’t appear to be in a hurry. But I suppose when you are at the king’s disposal, time is not your own. And Jean de Dinteville was the unhappy representative of King Francis I of France at Henry VIII’s turbulent court. He seemed to have spent much of this visit, in 1533, waiting for the coronation of Anne Boleyn on 1st June. An intriguing time as they had already married in secret in January before Henry divorced Catherine. As well as ordering thirty tons of Gascon wine to shield de Dinteville against the best of England’s cold and damp, he would no doubt have been instrumental in the negotiations that led to Francis I being godfather to their new born child, Elizabeth.

His friend, Georges de Selve, a bishop of Lavaur in southwest France, apparently made a secret appearance at this time. And how better to celebrate a secret meeting, “which was no small pleasure” to de Dinteville, than to have one of the most iconic images of the time painted in its memory – that which we now call The Ambassadors.

Continue reading The Mysterious Ambassadors

Oak Tree

Now seen at the Tate of the North – Liverpool. I first saw this ****, many years ago and it stuck in my mind so vividly as a glorious piece of **** that when I spotted it from across the gallery, I called out to Dan, “Look! Oak Tree!!” And, of course, he had no idea what I was talking about. Nor would he. Does it look like an Oak Tree to you?

This is what irritated me so many years before. Conceptual art that was up its own arse. And I was about to fly off into a deluge of abuse when we were accosted by an incredibly polite and chatty gallery attendant who said…” Oh yes. You’ve seen this one before? It’s all about faith…” I get a bit twitchy when people start discussing anything remotely religious – especially when we’ve not been formally introduced. But he continued on, “Yes, well I think so. It’s about how people take things on faith and will look up to anything that’s set above them…”

Oak Tree is a glass of water on a glass shelf about seven feet high. So you do have to look up to it. Both of us had our interest piqued, so we Continue reading Oak Tree